City Council Recap – February 6th and 7th

We considered items relating to supportive housing on Gerrard, LTB hearings, Dundas bike lane upgrades, noise by-law updates and more.

This week was our first City Council meeting of the year.

Securing Permanent Affordable Rental Housing at 1430 Gerrard East

1430 Gerrard Street East was first turned into supportive housing when it became the temporary home of the Red Door Family Shelter during the construction of its new facility.

It was then sub-leased to WoodGreen Community Services, who offer transitional housing for single mothers and their children at this site as part of their Homeward Bound Program.

With the city’s lease coming to an end, City Council voted this week to acquire the property as part of the city's affordable housing efforts to make the affordable rental housing at 1430 Gerrard Street permanent.

Thank you to the Mayor and my Council colleagues for supporting this important project.

Restoring In-Person Landlord Tenant Board Hearings

Council supported my motion this week calling on the province to restore access to in-person Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) hearings and provide additional support for tenant access.

I moved this motion after hearing from the Advocacy Centre for Tenant’s Ontario and Don Valley Community Legal Services about the many challenges low-income tenants face accessing virtual LTB hearings.

In-person hearings are especially important for tenants without reliable internet or needing additional support at their hearing.

The motion also calls for the re-opening on the two in-person intake centres in Toronto that offered tenants help submitting proper forms to the LTB.

Dundas East Bike Lane Upgrades Approved

City Council approved upgrades to the bike lanes on Dundas between Broadview and Pape this week as part of the city's planned cycling infrastructure installations this year.

These improvements to one of Toronto's first commuter cycle lanes outside of the downtown core will increase safety for all road users and ensure it remains the well-used and reliable route it's been for years.

Automated Speed Enforcement

Council voted to move the Red Light Cameras and Automated Speed Enforcement (ASE) under the Administrative Penalty System, currently in use only for parking violations. This will significantly speed up the process of enforcement and allow for the expansion of the ASE program.

A key focus of Toronto's Vision Zero plan, the ASE program is currently helping slow down traffic around schools and in other areas of concern.

Noise By-law Update

At Economic and Community Development Committee last month, we heard two areas of major concern from residents around the proposed updates to the noise by-law.

One was with the proposed decibel limit on vehicle noise (92 decibels) which many residents, particularly those near the Don Valley Parkway, felt was too high. I asked staff at Committee last month to report back with options for lowering the limit further. That report will come to Economic & Community Development Committee on February 20th then City Council on March 20th.

We also heard from residents concerned about the exemption for overnight waste collection. This often has major impacts for residents in large multi-residential buildings whose waste is collected by private companies in the early morning hours.

Staff will be reporting back later this year with options for restricting or discouraging overnight collection to allow residents peace and quiet.

RapidTO Bus Priority Lanes

City Council approved four bus priority lanes on Finch Avenue East, Dufferin Street, Lawrence Avenue East and Steeles Avenue West. Each of these lanes will help the tens of thousands of people who take these busses each day have access to fast and reliable transit.

Currently these routes are some of the most unreliable for riders. Last week at Executive Committee, we heard how improving service on these bus routes would help the communities they serve, many of which are lower income and rely heavily on transit to get to and from work.

Getting Ready to Open the Finch West LRT

Council approved the operating agreement for the Finch West LRT, currently under construction by Metrolinx and scheduled to open later this year. Mayor Chow's New Deal with the province included provincial funding for the TTC to operate the LRT.

The operating agreement for the Eglinton Crosstown is already complete and awaits Metrolinx’s completion of the project.

Council to Vote on Budget at Special Meeting Next Week

We meet again on Wednesday for a special session of City Council to consider Mayor Chow's budget.

Her budget includes a 1% reduction to the staff-proposed property tax increase and historic investments to set us on a path toward a more affordable, caring and safe Toronto.

Read my update for more about Mayor Chow's budget. Learn more about the 2024 budget process on the city's website.

Sign up to get my updates on what's happening in Toronto-Danforth and at City Hall.

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